Avenue of Trees lights up holiday season

Foothills: More trees to be auctioned in Turner Valley Thursday

By: John Barlow

  |  Posted: Wednesday, Dec 11, 2013 05:53 pm

From the left, Okotoks Oilers Jake Dube, Keelan Williams and Rhett Gardner hang ornaments on a Christmas Tree at the second annual Avenue of Trees Auction at the Okotoks Recreation Centre on Dec. 8.
From the left, Okotoks Oilers Jake Dube, Keelan Williams and Rhett Gardner hang ornaments on a Christmas Tree at the second annual Avenue of Trees Auction at the Okotoks Recreation Centre on Dec. 8.
Don Patterson/OWW

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Things were starting to look a lot like Christmas at the Okotoks Recreation Centre thanks to a forest of colourful, decorated trees.

The Sheep River Health Trust’s second annual Avenue of Trees auction was held at the recreation centre on Dec. 8 and the fundraiser collected more than $6,000 for the health trust.

Tanya Thorn of the Sheep River Health Trust said organizers were pleased with not only the amount of money they raised, but also with the awareness generated through the Avenue of Trees program.

“We did significantly better than last year both in the attendance and the money raised,” she said. “The awareness of the event is increasing.

“Our idea is to build this into a significant fundraiser for the health trust.”

How the program worked was local businesses, service clubs and sports teams were invited to donate and decorate a tree and they were on display at the Okotoks Recreation Centre and the Sheep River Library in Turner Valley. After a few weeks on display, the Okotoks trees were auctioned off on Sunday and the Turner Valley bunch will be on the block on Thursday evening.

In total, 16 trees were auctioned in Okotoks and another eight will be for sale in Turner Valley.

Thorn said the Avenue of Trees event was also a great way to dress up the rec centre and Sheep River Library for the holiday season.

“This was a great way to kick off the Christmas season,” she said. “It put a nice Christmas vibe in the rec centre.”

In addition to adding to the decorations at the rec centre and library, the Avenue of Trees has a substantial on-line presence.

Currently on the health trust’s Facebook page voting is underway for the fan favourite tree. As of Monday the Oilfields Hospital and the Okotoks Health and Wellness Centre trees were jockeying for position as the favourite donated tree. People can go online and vote for their favourite.

The final Avenue of Trees auction will take place Thursday at the Sheep River Library in Turner Valley starting at 6 p.m. While some winning bidders are taking their tree home or to their place of work, others are donating the trees to ensure families in need have a Christmas tree as well.

jbarlow@okotoks.greatwest.ca


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